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05/08/2012

Online Impression Formation


Results of the interview

First interview

The first interview stated that people use VC because they need to find special interest communities; they need to discover new friends and they need to talk anonymously. According to the first interviewee the people can and cannot be influenced by the discussions hold or read in VCs. For them it depends on the character. The first interviewee believes that younger people can be influenced than older people and it will depend on the kind of VC. The first interviewee stated that in having a successful communication in a virtual community one should have special interest. The first interviewee stated that companies should not use VCs for corporate communication activities. They think that to be an active community member they will need time and they don't know if it makes sense for them to use VC in company communication activities especially since time is money. To describing what they consider to be important for a company to have a successful communication in a virtual community, the first interviewee stated that if discussing about the communication between the community and the company they would say that candidness is everything. The first interviewee stated that the communication style needed for a virtual community would depend on the user. If the user is a private one then informal style would be unnecessary; if the user would be a BB then formal communication would be used. In PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives the most relevant includes informal communication and source credibility. In PVCM with mainly community related motives those relevant includes relevance of contribution; informal communication; social context cues; social presence; affiliation; perceived similarity; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication

Second interview

The second interviewee stated that people use VC's because it would help them to be linked, connected and have access to a network. The second interviewee believed that people are very much influenced by the discussions hold or read in VCs. The second interviewee stated that the community has more source credibility than the classic media and/or the commercial communication. The second interviewee believed that in having a successful communication in a virtual community, it is the same like in any other forum/platform of new or classic communication. The second interviewee thinks that VCs have to differentiate and VCs have to be relevant wherein it has to be creative, original, unique, new, and outstanding. The second interviewee stated that if the companies want to survive then they should use VCs for corporate communication activities. The interviewee stated that they should act as they are positioned and as the corporation-strategy requires it. The third interviewee stated that if a company member does engage in the discussion on the platform; a virtual community member’s perception about a company would improve especially if the member identifies himself/herself as a member of the company and if the community accepts it. In terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those who are relevant includes relevance of contribution; affiliation; source credibility; and interactivity while those who are irrelevant informal communication; social context cues; and social presence. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those relevant includes relevance of contribution; informal communication; social context cues; social presence; affiliation; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication. Perceived similarity is deemed as deemed as not relevant at all.

Third interviewee

The third interviewee was Claudia Jainz. She was Community Manager/Project-Manager of Deutsche Online Medien GmbH. She had experience with virtual community since 2003. She had experience with virtual communities as a member and community manager. The third interviewee stated that people use VCs to stay in contact, make new friends, use the special features within a community and to be a part of it. The third interviewee stated that the influence by the discussions hold or read in VCs depends on the type of community and how possible it is to have discussions there. If one is member of a community where he/she is really into the main topic, then he/she will certainly participate more in certain discussions and be more influenced by them. The third interviewee stated that what is important for having a successful communication in a virtual community is for it to offer the necessary tools which should be easy to handle, establish community guidelines and define the social norms for the community, connect people around the purpose so that a communication is possible because people are interested.  For the third interviewee the in PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives the relevant ones include relevance of contribution; affiliation and source credibility; the irrelevant ones include interpersonal communication; social context cues; social presence; perceived; similarity; interactivity and informal communication.  In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives relevance of contribution is deemed as both relevant and not relevant. Other things regarded as relevant include informal communication; social context cues; social presence; affiliation; perceived similarity; source credibility; Interactivity; Interpersonal communication.

Fifth interviewee

The fifth interviewee stated that people use VCs because it helps the community, the special interests and get together. The fifth interviewee believes that people are influenced by the discussions hold or read in VCs. The fifth interviewee also believes that opinions are often built by independent opinion leaders.  The fifth interviewee stated that having a direct communication is important for a successful communication in a virtual community. The fifth interviewee stated that direct communication will help create an optimized target group. The fifth interviewee believes that companies should use VCs for corporate communication activities. The fifth interviewee thinks that it’s important to build a positive image and to have a direct communication with the target group. The fifth interviewee narrated that for a company to have a successful communication in a virtual community it must have good editors, who go into the user’s wishes and problems. For the fifth interviewee contribution is very important because it can control the discussions, activate members, and be a part of the community. The fifth interviewee thinks that the content of a message might have an impact on the perception a PVCM could have about a CVCM. The interviewee thinks this is very important to control the discussions, activate members, and become a part of the community. For the firth interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives the relevant thing includes relevance of contribution and source credibility while the not relevant includes social context cues and perceived similarity. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those relevant includes social context cues; perceived similarity; and source credibility while the not relevant includes informal communication; social presence; affiliation and interactivity.

Sixth interviewee

The sixth interviewee believes that people use VCs as an informal way to communicate things. They believe that it is very interactive; it promotes the possibility to discuss with experts. For the interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution; social presence affiliation; perceived similarity; source credibility;  interactivity and interpersonal communication while those deemed as not relevant includes informal communication and social context cues. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives affiliation is deemed as both relevant and irrelevant. Those deemed relevant includes informal communication social context cues; social presence; perceived similarity; interactivity; and interpersonal communication. Those deemed as irrelevant includes relevance of contribution and source credibility

Seventh interviewee

The interviewee think that people are influenced because senders of the information are tangible than channels that are perceived to be more official. For the interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed relevant includes relevance of contribution; social presence; affiliation; perceived similarity; source credibility and interactivity. Those deemed as not relevant includes informal communication; social context cues and interpersonal communication. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those deemed relevant includes relevance of contribution; informal communication; social context cues; social presence; affiliation; perceived similarity; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication.

Eighth interviewee

The interviewee stated that people use VCs for the same reason they take part in real communities such as networking in a private or business setting, communicating, entertainment, learning, contributing, promoting and in general interacting with other humans. For the interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution; social context cues; affiliation; source credibility; interactivity; and interpersonal communication. Those deemed as not relevant includes informal communication; social presence and perceived similarity. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution; informal communication; social context cues; social presence; affiliation; perceived similarity; interactivity and interpersonal communication. Those deemed as not relevant include source credibility.

Ninth interviewee

The interviewee believes that companies should use VCs for corporate communication activities if it is in line with their overall communication goals and if they can create an offering that meets the requirements. For the interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution and source credibility. Those deemed as not relevant includes perceived similarity; interactivity; and interpersonal communication. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution; perceived similarity; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication. Those deemed as not relevant includes informal communication; social context cues; social presence and affiliation.

Tenth interviewee

The tenth interviewee stated that people use VCs because it can make sure that there are quick and good contacts and common interests are met. The interviewee thinks that people are influenced by discussions hold or read in VCs since they tend to learn new things. For the interviewee in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed as relevant includes informal communication; social context cues; affiliation; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication. Social presence is deemed as not relevant. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those deemed as relevant includes informal communication; social context cues; affiliation; interactivity interpersonal communication and Social presence. Source credibility is deemed as not relevant.

Twelfth interviewee

The twelfth interviewee stated that people use VCs because in there people are like-minded, they get ego-boosters, they can search for help & advice, and they can search for products/people. The interviewee believes that people are influenced by the discussions hold or read in VCs. For the interviewees in terms of PVCM with mainly topic/brand related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution and source credibility. Those deemed as not relevant includes informal communication; perceived similarity; interactivity and interpersonal communication. In terms of PVCM with mainly community related motives those deemed as relevant includes relevance of contribution; perceived similarity; source credibility; interactivity and interpersonal communication. Informal communication is deemed as not relevant. Social context cues; social presence and affiliation are deemed as not relevant at all.

Part 2

Interview 1

The first interviewee stated that to describe a moderator some positive words to describe him were articulate, interested, open, committed and communicative. The negative ones were disinterested, alls, assertive, dominant and ignorant. The first interviewee stated that to describe the moderator's messages some positive description include him being informative, interesting, timely and relevant. The negative description of him tells that he is redundant, boring and meaningless. According to the first interviewee the moderator made sure that the organization will have a positive image. The moderator made the interviewee feel that they are on the same level. The first interviewee thinks that the messages of the moderator influence his impression of the moderator. For the first interviewee he always forms an impression about a moderator when reading his messages. This image is built on the basis of how he builds his sentences, his orthography and the content of the text.

Interview4

According to the fourth interviewee the moderator influences that image they have about the organization. The interviewee said that since moderators have better quality, so he consider the platform to have a better quality too According to the fourth interviewee the impressions about the messages of the moderator does not influence the impression of the moderator's personality. For the interviewee he would not take it seriously and he wouldn’t do his task right. According to the interviewee paralinguistic and the use of all capital letters is not a good idea. For the interviewee the use of all capital letters seems to imply that one is shouting at him. Smiles for him are good since it brings camaraderie. 

Interview5

According to the fifth interviewee the moderator helped in making the forum representative and it helped bring out a good platform. For the interviewee the communication process seems to show that there are people who tend to be offensive and aggressive. This makes the communication process unwanted and it makes one lose interest in engaging in the communication process. The interviewee stated that a moderator should be neutral and should stick to the rules in the most objective way. For the interviewee the message of the moderator should not be threatening. For the interviewee the impressions formed about the moderator can influence the impression of the organization. The interviewee stated that if the moderator behaves in a fair way it will influence the way he sees the organization. For the interviewee if the message is not relevant then it cannot create a good impression thus it will not influence the impression one has over the moderator. For the interviewee informal and formal communication can create a medium influence over the impression he has about the moderator. For the interviewee paralinguistic have no influence on the impression he has on the moderator.

Interview6

For the sixth interviewee the moderator doesn’t influence the image he has about the organization.  The interviewee thinks that the moderator should be reserved; the moderator should arbitrate problems and fix conflicts so that he will be given a positive feedback. The interviewee stated to gain a negative feedback the moderator must not deliver on his comments. For the interviewee the moderators should only write a message if it fits the discussion otherwise they should stay out of the discussion.

Interview7

For the seventh interviewee the moderator influences the image he has about the organization. For the interviewee the whole process of communication was very open and informal thus there were lesser awkward minutes. The interviewee believes that for a moderator to be given a positive impression he must be open, honest, friendly, communicative, straightforward and demanding not only information but also giving some information. For a moderator to be given a negative impression he must use bad language and be unfriendly. The interviewee stated that the impressions of the moderator will change if he personally knows the moderator and if he acquired a positive impression of the moderator. The interviewee believes that the relevance of a message influence the impression he has about a moderator. The higher relevance of the message, the more it tends to influence him.

Interview8

For the eighth interviewee the moderator can influence the image he has about the organization. Image can help change the moderator discretion and proper use of words this can affect the way an organization is seen. The eighth interviewee believed that a moderator will get a positive impression if he is polite, serious, fair, caring, prompt, accurate and pleasant. A moderator will get a negative impression if he is wants things to happen right now, partisan, ideologically guided, single and rude. The interviewee believes that to attain a positive impression a moderator's message should be short, informative and neutral. The interviewee thinks that to attain a negative impression a moderator's message should be long-threaded, complex, cumbersome, imprecise and rude.

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